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Ask The Expert - Left-Handed Child

by on 16/01/2015     143 2529

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Question : My daughter is left-handed. Ever since small, she has shown more dominance in her left hand than her right, so we didn't do anything to change that. However, recently a teacher at her preschool told me that she needs to learn to use her right hand because it seems that her left hand is giving her difficulties in writing and doing crafts work etc. Is the reason valid? I have never heard of such a thing. 
 
 

Answer :  Most children start showing a clear preference for one hand or the other around age 2 or 3 years old, while some do it as early as 18 months. The general rule is do not worry if your pre-schooler does not seem to care which hand she uses to hold her fork — some children remain ambidextrous (using both hands equally) until they're 5 or 6 years old.


Hand dominance is greatly influenced by genetics. If both you and your partner are left-handed, your child has a 45 to 50 percent chance of being left-handed as well. (About 10 percent of people are left-handed.)


The general rule is do not bother trying to influence her hand preference. While genetics alone don't entirely explain why someone ends up right- or left-handed, hardwiring of your child's nervous system is at least part of the reason. Forcing her to use her right hand when she's really a lefty is unlikely to work in the long run and will only confuse or frustrate her along the way. You may share this with her class teacher. If hand writing is becoming difficult when she is using her left hand, her teacher may be right that your child may be better at using the right hand. Do eliminate environmental reasons that is preventing her from developing writing abilities. 90% of the world population do use “stuff” designed for right-handed.


There are a few things you can do though: If your child eventually shows a preference for using her left hand, buy her scissors designed for left-handed users, supply her with a "lefty" baseball glove, and make sure to seat her in a spot at the table where she won't bump arms with her neighbour. 



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About Our Expert


Kiddy123's Expert Dr Eric

Professor Dr. Eric Lim is the founder of Kits4Kids Foundation, a foundation that specializes in the education and development of children with special needs.  


He also leads many international social enterprises all around the world. Prof. Dr. Eric Lim holds a PhD in Educational Management as well as Masters of Education, Bachelor of Special Education and Masters of Psychology, focusing on child psychology and counseling. 


He is passionate about helping as many people as he could in spreading the love for children and humanity.

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